After Fabricio Werdum upset the odds at UFC 188 (June 13, 2015) in Mexico City by defeating former champion Cain Velasquez to steal the belt, talk quickly turned to who “Vai Cavalo’s” next opponent would be.
UFC president Dana White has said that the next title shot will either go to No. 3-ranked Stipe Miocic, or No. 4-ranked Andrei Arlovski, and Miocic has recently said that he believes he deserves the shot over “The Pitbull”.
Both men are arguably deserving of a title shot, as Miocic is 4-1 in his last five bouts, his only loss coming to former champion Junior Dos Santos, and his most recent win being an absolute destruction of Mark Hunt in May. Arlovski on the other hand, has won five straight bouts, and three straight since returning to the UFC last year including a thrilling first-round knockout over Travis Browne at May’s UFC 187.
The UFC definitely has a tough decision on their hands. Arlovski may be the smarter choice based on a business perspective, as “The Pitbull” is a former heavyweight champ from what feels like a different era and has experienced a career resurgence, but some may argue that the Croatian Miocic has faced tougher competition as of late.
Miocic has also been more vocal about the title shot, and he most recently spoke with Submission Radio on the topic, specifically on the champion Werdum. Miocic said that “Vai Cavalo” is amazing on the ground and strong on the feet, but the Croatian believes that he’s faster than the champion, moves better than the champion, and has better stand-up than Werdum. Miocic also mentioned that Werdum has never fought anyone like him, and that he would feel comfortable no matter where the fight ended up:
“He hasn’t fought someone like me before. I bring a lot to the table and I’m gonna walk in there and I’m confident I’m gonna win the fight and I’m gonna be the next heavyweight champ. His ground game is amazing, his stand up is real good too [but] I’m faster than him, I move better than him, I got better stand up. He’s really good on the ground, he’s a black belt, but nah, I’ll definitely use my wrestling. I’ll be smart about it and not put myself in any bad positions, but I think anywhere it goes I’m comfortable with and whatever he brings to the table I’ll be able to handle.”
Check out the full interview below:
Miocic may be getting a tad bit ahead of himself, as he has not been granted the shot yet, but he sure is confident nonetheless. Does he deserve the title shot over Miocic?